TagLed Zeppelin

Hip hop as a source of esoteric reference

Aside from icons such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and, more recently, Tool, not many bands are well-known for being spiritually radical or esoteric. (Marilyn Manson aside, as I believe his theatrics outweigh his message. Plus, I think he’s been going downhill since Antichrist Superstar.)

The occult isn’t well known for its association to hip hop. And as this site has a large American audience, I wanted to point out that I’ve been noticing more esoteric references in Canadian hip hop than other artists I’ve heard. I’ve been culling a lot of MP3s – both pop and underground – over the years that use themes of revolt (‘Something to Believe In,’ by The Offspring), introspective awareness (‘Right Where It Belongs,’ by NIN), and spiritual themes in general. But today I wanna share some new music with Technoccult’s audience that they may not be aware of:

Swollen Members

A few tracks from the new album by Swollen Members, Black Magic. Sometimes a tricky band to take, especially in light of the mockery that is popular gangster rap in the States, Swollen Members doesn’t take itself too seriously. They’re the genuine article when it comes to the gangster thing, though: bikers and drug runners. (Canada is run by the Hells Angels.) Yet, their lyrics more than often refer to Marvel comics, Dungeons & Dragons, and other silliness. Their tracks are not the most esoteric, but the references paint a picture happily open to interpretation.

k-os, an Ontario b-boy who grew up a Mormon and has apparently been on a spiritual journey since. Jazzy hip hop with great beats and personal, introspective lyrics.

And Sweatshop Union members Kyprios and Innocent Bystanders. Kyprios turned a lot of heads with this spoken word piece on the topic of hatred. Innocent Bystanders wove this New Age rebellion sort of piece that I always like to listen to and have noticed others enjoying, too. Both are signed to Swollen Members’ Battle Axe Records.

MP3s available for download here (compressed to RAR): Part 1, Part 2.

William S. Burroughs interview with Jimmy Page

jimmy page and william s. burroughs

WB: I was thinking of the concentration of mass energy that you get in a pop concert, and if that were, say, channeled in some magical way…a stairway too heaven…it could become quite actual.

JP: Yes, I know. One is so aware of the energies that you are going for, and you could so easily….I mean, for instance, the other night we played in the Philadelphia Spectrum, which really is a black hole as a concert hall….The security there is the most ugly of anywhere in the States. I saw this incident happen and I was almost physically sick. In fact, if I hadn’t been playing the guitar I was playing it would’ve been over somebody’s head. It was a double-neck, which is irreplaceable, really, unless you wait another nine months for them to make another one at Gibson’s.

Rock Magic: Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin, And a search for the elusive stairway to heaven originally published in Crawdaddy Magazine, June 1975.

(via LVX23)

For more on Burroughs check out our dossier on him

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